Derek Hough WILL Return to DWTS – Role to be Unveiled on GMA

Derek Hough returns to Dancing with the Stars
(Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

It looks like dance icon Derek Hough will be returning to the Dancing with the Stars ballroom after all! Just not as a pro-dancer as fans were speculating. It was the Daily Mail that claimed Derek was asked to return to the Tyra Banks helmed show. And when Derek was confronted with the rumor by Extra, he refused to answer one way or another.

After four years, Derek Hough returns to DWTS, but in what role?

But then, when GMA unveiled the 15 pro dancers participating on season 15, Derek wasn’t among the cast. At that point, I filed Derek’s return as a rumor that didn’t pan out. What’s more, Derek has been a judge for the Jennifer Lopez dance competition World of Dance for four seasons. Wouldn’t his contract with NBC contain some kind of exclusivity clause?

GUESS NOT! Because after four years, Derek is returning to his roots. His role on the show will be revealed on GMA this coming Tuesday (Sept 8). Looking back on the Daily Mail piece, it NEVER mentions the exact role Derek would return to play! Couple that with Derek’s coy response to Extra’s questions, and it’s obvious that a deal has been in the works for a while. 

Erin Andrews on New DWTS Host Tyra Banks: She Can Nail the Smizing
Tom Bergeron Says He Stopped Enjoying DWTS After 2017

“He is a Dancing With the Stars legend. He has won the mirrorball a record six different times,” the promo revals, “Now, he is back. But what will he be doing on the new epic season of Dancing With the Stars? Hold on tight. You’re about to find out.”

My guess: Derek will could join Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli on the judges panel. His sister Julianne Hough served as a judge on the show for several seasons. Or perhaps he’ll serve as a mentor to the celebrity contestants.

The professional dancer first competed on DWTS in 2007. He went on to win seasons 7, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 21 with celebrity partners Brooke Burke, X Factor and Masked Singer judge Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, American Idol alum Kellie Pickler, Glee star Amber Riley and Bindi Irwin, respectively.

Dancing with the Stars undergoes format changes

Dancing with the Stars shook up the format for the upcoming 29th season, replacing hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews with Tyra Banks who will also serve as an executive producer. The 15 celebrity contestants include Carole Baskin, AJ McLean, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Anne Heche. Val Chmerkovskiy, Cheryl Burke, Artem Chigvintsev, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd and more are joining the show as pro partners.  The partnerships won’t be revealed until the show premieres on ABC Monday September 4. But of course there are spoilers!

Also, strict protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic will mean an empty ballroom, social distancing and cast quarantining.

About mj santilli 33692 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. Could he be cohosting with Tyra??? A mentor doesn’t make sense to me with Covid unless he gives advice without being hands on. Otherwise judge is the most obvious one

  2. I’m thinking as well that he’s taking over for Len as Head judge

  3. Based on his experience on World Of Dance, he would be an excellent judge. Since Len Goodman probably is getting close to retiring from the show, Darek can transition into the head judge slot. I do not see him playing second fiddle to Tyra Banks.

    Note, Strictly Come Dancing always had 4 judges.

  4. I really hope he is going to be a judge! I loved Julianne as a judge, so this be good. Len needs to retire tbh.

  5. I do not think Derek will return to DWTS except as one of the judges or guest judge for special episode.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.